Asked about his homecoming before Saturday's 8-2 win over the Nationals, Cubs starter Edwin Jackson joked to broadcaster Jim Deshaies: "I've had a lot of homecomings."

The well-traveled veteran made this one count, doubling home a pair of runs off Stephen Strasburg in a four-run fifth inning and earning his first win as a Cub.

"It was definitely nice to get the monkey off my back and help contribute to the team win," Jackson said.

Jackson, who's on his eighth major league team, was allowed to leave as a free agent last fall after helping lead the Nationals to the East Division title.

"We talked to him early in the (2011) season about re-signing with us," Washington GM Mike Rizzo said. "He wanted to wait until the end of the season, and at the end of the season, we kind of shifted plans from the All-Star break to the postseason."

His $52 million contract may have been weighing on Jackson, but the Cubs believe he it will pay off in the long run.

"He just needs to be Edwin Jackson and not worry about how much money he's making," manager Dale Sveum said.

Jackson hasn't moped through "the worst start" of his career.

"You couldn't tell he was 0-5," first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "That's the ultimate pro there."

Stewart watch: Third baseman Ian Stewart is a backup to Josh Vitters at Triple-A Iowa, hitting .087 with one extra-base hit in 46 at-bats. Is there a future for Stewart in the organization?

"I'm not sure," general manager Jed Hoyer replied. "I hope there is. I hope he starts playing well. I do think there is a lot of talent there. … But at this point it's going to be about performance. Potential can only take you so far."

Hoyer said Vitters needs to play, so Stewart will "have to be patient."